The Fabelmans:
Thinking Through the Lens

A Conversation with Mitch Dubin, SOC; Colin Anderson, SOC & John “Mango” Mang

Hosted by David Daut

From Close Encounters of the Third Kind to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the story of Steven Spielberg’s childhood and family life has existed in the margins of some of the director’s most famous works, but now after a filmmaking career that has spanned five decades, that story comes to the fore in The Fabelmans. In this Camera Operator video interview, we had the chance to talk with A camera operator Mitch Dubin, SOC; B camera/Steadicam operator Colin Anderson, SOC; and dolly grip John Mang about their roles on shooting this intimate and deeply personal new film from one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

The Fabelmans tells the story of Sammy Fabelman—the stand-in for a young Steven Spielberg—as he explores a passion for filmmaking while at the same time navigating the turbulent waters of a family coming to realize that even as they love each other, they may not all speak the same language. Directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Spielberg and Tony Kushner, the film stars Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Gabriel LaBelle, Jeannie Berlin, Julia Butters, Robin Bartlett, Keeley Karsten, and Judd Hirsch.


The Fabelmans: Thinking Through the Lens

A Conversation with Mitch Dubin, SOC; Colin Anderson, SOC & John “Mango” Mang

Hosted by David Daut


Select Photo for Larger View

Camera Operator Winter 2023

Above Photo: Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy Fabelman in THE FABELMANS

Photos by Merie Weismiller Wallace/Universal Pictures & Amblin Entertainment



Panavison Millennium XL2 camera 3perf 1:85 ground glass

ARRI 416 Plus camera 1:85 & Super 8 Ground Glass

Classic Pro Max 8mm from Pro8mm

Kodak Film Stocks

35mm­ – 5219 500T, 5213 200T, 5203 50D

16mm – 7219 500T, 7213 200T

8mm – 500T, 200T & Ektachrome 100D


35mm Spherical P-Vintage, Primo Close Focus, Primo Zooms 19–90mm & 24–290mm

16mm ARRI Super 16 Primes & Canon Zoom 8-64mm

Diffusion Filters

Mitchell A & B

Classic Soft

Glimmer Glass

Additional Cameras & Gear

Libra Head run of show

ARRI ALEXA Mini & Frazier Lens System used for the train crash insert sequence

RED MONSTROs used for Array Plates

Chapman Hybrid 2 Dolly

Chapman Super PeeWee 3 Dolly

Matrix Remote Head

Scorpio 45’ Telescoping Crane

GF8 Modular Crane from GFM

Mitch Dubin, SOC

Mitch Dubin’s first job in the film industry was as a post-production PA on Apocalypse Now at Zoetrope Studios in San Francisco. During additional photography of The Black Stallion and Apocalypse Now, he realized working on the set, behind the camera, was where he wanted to be. Mitch worked his way through the ranks of the camera department until he settled into the job of camera operator. Thirty-five years later, Mitch still loves his job. He has been fortunate to work on many great films with exceptionally talented crews. Every project has been a labor of love that has made his life in the film industry a wonderful adventure.

Mitch Dubin, SOC

Colin Anderson, SOC

Born and raised in South Africa, Colin Anderson had a love of photography instilled in him from an early age by his then news photographer father. Upon joining the film industry he worked his way up through the ranks for 10 years before he moved to the United States. Based in Los Angeles, he started camera operating in 1995 as well as specializing in Steadicam. To date Colin has worked almost primarily on feature films with notable directors such as J.J. Abrams, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Ben Affleck. His collaboration with J.J. Abrams includes all six films that J.J. has directed, including Mission: Impossible III; both Star Trek films; Star Wars: The Force Awakens; and the latest Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Some of the other titles he has worked on include There Will Be Blood; Good Night, and Good Luck; The Town; Argo; The Master; Phantom Thread; and the Martin Scorsese film Silence.

John “Mango” Mang

A three-decade veteran of the film industry, John Mang has worked as a dolly grip on the TV series Homecoming and John Adams as well as features including Licorice Pizza, A Star is Born, Straight Outta Compton, and Lincoln.

John Mang

David Daut

A writer and critic for more than a decade, David Daut specializes in analysis of genre cinema and immersive media. In addition to his work for Camera Operator and other publications, David is also the co-creator of Hollow Medium, a “recovered audio” ghost story podcast. David studied at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and works as a freelance writer based out of Orange County, California.

David Daut


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